The Big Issue : Edition 543
THE BIG ISSUE 11 – 24 AUG 2017 37 WET HOT AMERICAN SUMMER: 10 YEARS LATER SO HOW DID we get here? The original movie Wet Hot American Summer was a parody of earnest 80s coming-of- age teen dramas, only it also featured a talking can of mixed vegetables and a falling chunk of Skylab that was going to wipe out the camp. The fact that the entire cast was well past the age to be playing teenagers just added to the silliness: it was the kind of comedy where you were either on the right wavelength and everything was hysterically funny, or you weren’t and there was a lot of head scratching going on. That was in 2002; in 2015 Netflix released a prequel, Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp, in which the cast (who all returned, despite many now being big stars) was now definitely too old for their characters, and the goofy antics were spread over eight episodes. For this third instalment, everyone’s grown-up and heading back to Camp Firewood for their 10-year reunion. A lot has changed: for one thing, it’s now 1991, and writer-directors David Wain and Michael Showalter are not the kind of guys to let the chance to make fun of a whole new decade’s worth of clichés pass them by. Ladies man (who’s clearly still a virgin) Victor (Ken Marino) is now a shirtless barman in New York, Lindsay (Elizabeth Banks) is still a journalist only now for real, and Susie (Amy Poehler) is a big shot Hollywood creative type (“those Counting Crows shows at the Viper Room are fun, but the afterparties are deadly”) who brings UK acting stud Garth McArthur (Jai Courtney, who is comedy gold here) to the reunion. Katie (Marguerite Moreau) is a big city magazine editor finally ready to hook up with Coop (Showalter), who is now a writer in search of a “boffo” ending for his memoir, while McKinley (Michael Ian Black) and Ben (Adam Scott, replacing Bradley Cooper) now have a baby together, and already for fans alarm bells are ringing. Is their last-minute nanny Renata (Alyssa Milano) up to no good? Why is there a secret military base under the camp? Will Mitch, the talking can of mixed vegetables, return? Will President Reagan return? Will formerly dead muso Eric (Chris Pine) now be into grunge and have super-powered legs? Will any of this disrupt the big dance? It’s extremely silly, earnest in a cornball way, and unless you hate fun, highly entertaining. by Anthony Morris (@morrbeat), Small Screens Editor » Wet Hot American Summer: 10 Years Later is on Netflix now. SELECT Covering the standouts in film, music, books and home entertainment HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT FUN?